That was the payoff of an exhibitor in the wood section, probably the best attended for the quality of contents and proposals, at the recent Made expo. And actually, wood mixed with daring innovative technologies promises and allows to work wonders. At Made expo, the announced trends translated into real industry proposals: natural finishes; a crescendo for engineered wood applied to envelopes, covers and screens; sophisticated treatments for external closures, interior doors and panelings. Small numbers but high quality for woodworking machinery manufacturers, who hold the keys to industry innovation. One conference, within the Wood International Forum, but very interesting “How wood influences architecture”, involving many companies: constructions, contract, semifinished materials, soundproofing panels, flooring, “finished” doors and windows, distributed across the different topics of the exhibition.
Made expo: a final balance…
At the end of the Milan review for architecture, design and construction, it is mandatory to report visitor figures and final results.
It’s not just figures, it’s a measure of the value of the event, the feedback of professional trade, designers, companies, installers and resellers. Quality of living, urban regeneration and infrastructures for contemporary living, declined into comfort, security, sustainability, innovation in construction, with the goal of strengthening the interconnections of the system to relaunch the construction business and promote a “joint effort” of the industry towards the markets and towards the institutions, so as to restart a strategic sector for Italian economy. These were the goals on the eve of the show.
At the end of it, figures report nine hundred exhibitors, twenty percent of them from abroad, distributed in eight halls at Fiera Milano Rho and four exhibitions (Made Constructions and Materials, Made Building Envelope and Windows, Made Interiors and Finishes, Made Software, Technologies and Services) over 47,500 square meters of net exhibition area, and 90 thousand visitors with a ten percent share of international operators. A thousand b2b meetings with one hundred and eighty designers, contractors and buyers from more than 20 countries.
Despite the positive signals detected by the Ance observatory on the construction business, achieving 1.5 percent revenue growth (128 billion euro) in 2017, the discussion that spanned the four days and involved all industry actors stressed the importance of reopening construction sites to support the economy and stimulate interest, putting this topic back to the top of the political agenda.
More figures, and significant ones, for the conference program: two hundred and fifty meetings for technical and cultural education, with authoritative testimonials in different disciplines, involving an audience of 14 thousand.
Connected Made expo
Connectivity was the key topic of this edition in three areas: human, digital and production quality. Despite the reduction of exhibition areas, due to lower exhibitor attendance, connectivity was still strong: sustainability, a target that seems to have been reached, integrates with the big topics under the “smart” concept. However, there was some perplexity for confusion between the concepts of “sustainable innovation” (evergreen) and “smart”.
Amazon’s Alexa could be seen in many booths, a symbol of the new frontiers of home comfort. And augmented reality, with a headset that projected you into a fantastic world made of almost-real pointers and contexts (and a bit of dizziness), simulated the visual perception of the built environment with great attention to details, so great that virtual reality was even more attractive than the real world.
Under the “connection” topic, the Salone showed the real values of the industry: the effort (and cost) of innovation, the risk of undertaking a virtuous process of investments that might never turn into a number of supplies/construction sites big enough to justify it, the effort to attach real meaning to the word sustainability beyond a range of products, extending it to an all-round commitment to production, distribution, design and application.